Josh Rice is a multidisciplinary theatre artist specializing in physical performance, improvisation, and puppetry, and is the co-founder and Producing Artistic Director of Shake on the Lake (SOTL), in his hometown of Silver Lake, NY. Josh directed their 2015 puppet-infused production of The Tempest and has appeared as Puck in 2014’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as Aegeon/The Courtezan in 2013’s The Comedy of Errors, and as himself in 2012’s The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged. Most recently Josh appeared as a puppeteer in Dan Hurlin’s Demolishing Everything With Amazing Speed at Bard Summerscape and the American Dance Institute, and will tour the show to the Holland Festival in 2017. He was also in the 2017 N. American and Hawaiian tours of the puppet piece, Shank’s Mare. Original work: (Almost Definitely) Questionable Acts at the NYC Clown Theatre Festival, the New Orleans Fringe Festival, and the Physical Festival (Chicago, IL); Composite Portrait and The Vaudevillains at La MaMa. Puppetry credits: Petrushka with the NY Philharmonic Orchestra (London tour); Shank’s Mare at La MaMa, ETC, The Iida Puppet Fest (Japan), and the Ringling International Arts Festival; The Scarlet Ibis at HERE Arts Center; Jewel Casket at Dixon Place; and Janie Geiser’s Reptile Under the Flowers at St. Ann’s Warehouse. He is Adjunct Theatre Faculty with Pace University, where he guest directed an original devised piece, Should I Kill Myself or Have a Cup of Coffee? that will tour to Spain in May, 2017. He also teaches at Sarah Lawrence College, and is a Teaching Artist with the New Victory Theater and CultureHub NYC/La Mama. Josh and SOTL have been the recipients of numerous decentralization grants from NYSCA (2012-2016), as well as a 2015 Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Grant. Most recently, they received a 2017 Creative Opportunity Grant from NYSCA/A.R.T. New York. Individually, he has been the recipient of Arts-in-Education Grants from NYSCA (2016 & 2017); a 2015 TCG/Andrew W. Mellon In the Lab Grant to travel/collaborate in Japan with fifth-generation puppet master, Koryu Nishikawa V; a 2015 Artist In Residency with Sagafest in Iceland; a 2015 Celebration Barn Theater Arts Incubator Residency; a 2015 Seniors Partnering with Artists Citywide (SPARC) Grant from the NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs; and was awarded a 2014 Creative Community Fellowship with National Arts Strategies for his work as Founder and Director of the Mnemonic Theatre Project, his puppetry program with seniors living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, which was featured on the PBS documentary series, Visionaries. From 2004-2012, Josh was a company actor, playwright, and teaching artist with the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre, appearing in over 50 productions. He was also an actor, director, and producer with the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre from 2007-2012, earning his AEA union card as an actor. Josh has an MFA in Theatre from Sarah Lawrence College (2014) and BA in Theatre from SUNY Brockport (2003).
In this residency workshop, students will design, build, and manipulate their own puppets. Puppetry is the art of animating the inanimate, or giving life to an object that was once lifeless. Through breath, eyeline, focus, and micro-movement, students will learn basic manipulation techniques, from ancient Japanese traditions, to contemporary American practices.
- Students will create their own individually-designed rod puppets
- Students will learn sculpting techniques of heads, arms, and hands using everyday materials like newspaper, cardboard, & masking tape
- Students will learn basic manipulation techniques of rod puppetry
- Students will create characters for their puppet based on their design